FX7 worth the new price? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Graves View Post
"The reason this camcorder is so cheap or reasonable is because it compresses the signal to Mini DV at mpeg2. If you are going to use this camera to edit video, consider what it will look like after you compress it again to a DVD, which is mpeg2! Double compression! Unless you can afford a HD hard drive directly out of the HDMI, you're gonna wish you didn't buy this one. I say spend a little more and get the Canon XA1 HD cam."
This was one of the negs. from someone, what do you think?I normally pass on ext. warr. also but like you just said it could be alot cheaper in the long run.I was planning on buying from Sony or B&H probably Sony.
Dan- thanks for the input,the 20x is good for what I shoot also.Havent found a used FX1 in my price range,I also am very scep. about buying used.
Thanks again.
OK, Mike - one suggestion, be careful where you get your "reviews" - whoever wrote that bit on compression was an idjit to put it mildly. ALL HD requires compression, otherwise you're dealing with HUGE file sizes, it's just a matter of the quality of the compression algorithm and the electronics/optics. AND as noted, there is the option of a recording direct from the HDMI, but it's not a "typical" setup. BTW, the Canon records to the same MiniDV tape, and for the most part you could take the tape out of a Sony and play it back in a Canon, and vice versa... some people should not be allowed out on the Internet unsupervised, and it appears your "neg" comes from one of those sorts!

THAT out of the way - buying a SD camera right now is throwing your money away for the most part - prices on SD gear are plummeting on the used market. The VX series is known for it's particularly "good" low light capability, so that's the only attraction there, IMO.

Later model HD cameras are doing pretty well in "low light" - those who expect to take perfect video of a black cat in a dark room are just kidding themselves. I've been OK with what my "consumer" AVCHD cameras can do, and adding a relatively inexpensive on camera light works wonders... The FX7 is pretty good, you need to remember to manually take it from 60 to 30 on the shutter speed if it gets too dark, but that's easy enough to do - that's how many of the smaller cams get their low light ratings - they rate at 24P or 30 shutter speed, along with commensurate noise (which is a more important factor in "low light" IMO... if your footage is noisy, what does it matter?!)

At the new price the FX7 is a bargain. It flopped because it was priced against the Canons that got sloppy wet kisses in all the reviews, while the FX7 got the snub. BUT, by and large find someone who owned or owns one, and they will likely be pretty happy campers (OK, there's one guy here who hated his, but... you can't please everyone!).

I was shocked to see the FX7 "re-released" - that speaks volumes, as I can't recall Sony or any other company "re-releasing" a discontinued model... there's only "new and improved" in marketing consumer electronics, resurrecting a 2+ year old model has got to be a first of some sort. Either they had a forgotten warehouse of them somewhere they needed to clear out, OR they realized it met a market and they could produce it at the lower price point and meet that market.

Personally I wanted to see them make a tapeless version of the FX7, with any upgrades in the sensor block/firmware for Bionz/EXMOR, but the FX7 is a darn fine camera any way you slice it for the price, and still a favorite for me. Underrated, to be sure, but somehow the feature set and capabilities just seem so practical when using it, and it does shoot great video under most practical circumstances. If the light is too bad, add a light.

HTH with your decision!
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 01:03 AM   #17
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Thanks Dave-I always take reviews with a grain of salt>I thought Id put that one up since there are alot of knowledgeable people on here.Im also a musician and have had my fair share of reading reviews and purching equip. alot of times its your own preferance.Believe it or not Ive actually been looking on the private classifieds on DVI....started thinking of a used canon XH-A1 too many choices.Any comments on a used Canon XH-A1 compared to a new Sony FX7.Money is an issue so batt.,chargers and filters are an added bonus if its a good cam. and good deal.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:58 AM   #18
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Being honest having owned mine for 2 years i would not buy one again,the picture is sharp but the colours have never blown me away even now after much experimenting and getting the settings the best they have been.On my FX-7 hand held is a no go as the casing noise is intrusive admittedly better with my rode stereo,I do love the lens as the 20x with D EXTENDER is great for wildlife,but the fact that i now use my SR12 for 90% of my filming says it all for me the picture is better.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Graves View Post
Believe it or not Ive actually been looking on the private classifieds on DVI....started thinking of a used canon XH-A1 too many choices.Any comments on a used Canon XH-A1 compared to a new Sony FX7.Money is an issue so batt.,chargers and filters are an added bonus if its a good cam. and good deal.
Hmm. XH-A1 (XH-A1s is the newest version) or FX7...well, the XH-A1 is bigger... If size doesn't bother you and knowing that it's not set ideal out of the box, meaning you'll want to download and play with some presets (lots of to choose from) to get the image you want, I'd have to say I'd get the XH-A1.

There's lots of users, tips, you can buy a video on it (as well as the FX7, there's two and a ebook on it), etc. You'll be happy either way. The FX7 is probably more point 'n' shoot capable than the XH-A1 but I don't think the additional learning curve of the XH-A1 is that steep and there's plenty of help here on DVinfo and elsewhere.

Like I mentioned previously, when the FX7 was close in price to the XH-A1 I'd have gotten the XH-A1 myself. For $1,500-2,000 less, the FX7, no contest for me and my needs. I like the size and feel of the FX7 for everyday use and carry -- requires a smaller camera bag, too.

While the FX7 has some nice manual controls and features, the XH-A1 has more. Both have a 20x zoom(!), the XH-A1 has bigger sensors (3 - 1/3" CCDs vs. 3 - 1/4" CMOS) and XLR -- which will require XLR mics. Would I trade my FX7 and $1,500 for a XH-A1? Nope. Straight across trade? You betcha.

As I'm sure you know, used video gear can be a mixed bag. You can get a smokin' deal on gently used gear and have the camera perform flawlessly for years. Or you can get something that needs expensive repairs wiping out any savings and then some. While I'm hoping I never need the extended warranty (including accidental breakage) I bought, just for the down time, I sleep better because of it. :-)

I assume that you're in the Canon XH-series forum as well, lots to like about that camera.

If I had a Canon XH-A1 and a FX7 and they were both by my front door and my objective was to take a camera out and just have some fun shooting without a tripod, maybe doing some image hunting, I'd grab the FX7 first due to the size and ease of use. On a more controlled shoot with a tripod, probably the XH-A1. If I don't think I'll need a camera but want one just in case the aliens land on the road in front of me, my HV30 or Sanyo HD700. :-)

Whichever camera you get, learn it well and make some great videos with it. That's much more important than the manufacturer's name or model number.

Last edited by Dave Eaton; December 2nd, 2008 at 05:48 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 04:40 PM   #20
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in passing....

i always find it interesting the number of people who write asking for opinions on cameras (they do it for nle's too, but that's a different ball game), and expect a concensus answer. camera x is the one to buy....

if you're serious about buying a camera (or anything costing a sizeable figure relative to your budget), then it makes sense to go and hire one first. YOU know what you'll be shooting, and how you'll be shooting it. it's not much use asking a nature photographer about it low light capabilities, nor a run'n'gun news cameraman about use within a studio environment.

before buying my present camera i went out and hired one, i also found a cameraman using one i couldn't hire and had him shoot some scenes under ny direction (he eventually let me use the camera myself! though i could fel his nervous eyes on me all the while!).

i'm happy with my decision, and yes, this (and other forums) confirm much of what i found out for myself - but there is NOTHING at all that matches a 'touchy-feely' session with a camera, and the inner knowledge that you made the right decision for yourself...

quiet day in the studio....

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Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:33 PM   #21
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I have a friend who has an FX7 and he loves it. We took it out west to Yellowstone and the Tetons this past summer. The footage he got was absolutely stunning. I recently got an SR11 and will be taking both cams out west this next summer, shooting identical scenes for comparisons. So far, from what I can see of the shoots we have done together along the upper Mississippi River, I like the FX7 picture just a tad better than that produced by my SR11; but it is really really close. As for evening shots after the sun has gone down, but not full darkness, the SR11 does better than the FX7. But even at "dusk", the FX7 does a good job, as does my SR11.

Mike
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:52 PM   #22
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in passing....

Im sure the reason so many people ask questions about diff. cameras on here is the same reason I did.For the most part you are getting a honest review from someone who has owned or used a camera you are thinking about buying.When I see someone shooting with a cam. Im interested in, we usually talk about it.The same way I buy my music gear, my computers all the way to my surfboards and skateboards(kinda tough to hire one of those for a day).I usually do not have a budget for renting or hiring an operator because well....Im the operator.Plus Im not spending thousands of dollars for a top of the line cam.,or I would rent one first.I am very appreciative of all the input that everyone gives to any question I might have,big or small.Need to know something about my 6'1" Timmy Patterson surfboard?I could probably guide you to the one you need for your ability and price range.So once again thank you to everyone for your feedback.
Mike

Last edited by Mike Graves; December 3rd, 2008 at 08:29 AM.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:40 PM   #23
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Depending on how "extreme" your shooting situations, you might want to take a quick look at the SR11/12, kitted out with one of the Sony sport packs and a wide angle lens - not much in the manual control department, but for a knockabout cam you could actually take right out in the surf or use in sand/wind conditions, it's not a bad idea, and you'll notice several of us here have that camera...

The SR11 can be had pretty cheap (you need a beefy computer to edit the AVCHD, but my Q6600 cheapo Fry's special BIY system works pretty well...), and frankly the video quality is pretty darn good under most conditions.

Sure, you miss the manual control of the FX7, but for the size and capabilities, the little SR (or the even smaller CX12, which lacks a viewfinder) does amazingly well, and fits in a large pocket (not in the sport pack though<wink>)...

I think the camera we are all dreaming of is something like the old TRV900, but with tapeless acquisition (or a tape version if need be) good low light, and simple but effective manual controls all accessible with good old push BUTTONS. Wonder if Sony will ever make such a beast??? Or anyone else for that matter! The SR11 with manual controls would be darn close.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:07 AM   #24
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Yes i have said before an sr11/12 fitted in a canon xm2 or sony tvr 900 shell would be a dream for me.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 08:04 AM   #25
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...As an fyi, I often use my FX7 with a Focus harddrive (saves me a lot of tape)....
Dan

Can you please let us know what model of Focus harddrive are you using and how are you using it? I did a google surge and I couldn't find much.

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Old December 4th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #26
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Dan

Can you please let us know what model of Focus harddrive are you using and how are you using it? I did a google surge and I couldn't find much.

Stelios
There's a sticky in the Tapeless Video Recording Solutions forum and if you search here you'll find other threads on the use of Focus Hard Drives. FS4 / FS4 Pro HD various topics - The Digital Video Information Network

Plus the Focus web site: Focus Enhancements
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Old December 5th, 2008, 11:35 PM   #27
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Just Got Mine

Mike, I just received my FX7 today. I spent some time looking at my different options. The camera I have used for many years has started to have problems. That camera my Sony TRV-900 had been a great work horse for my family and thats just about all I used it for was family stuff. My wife could use the camera well and the TRV-900 was easy to transport. I decided on the FX7 because of two reasons. The first it's size (small enough for my wife to hold) made the most sense. The second is the fact that it is HD. I myself would gladly pay twice the cost for this camera or more if it could just be smaller like my good friend the TRV-900. From what I can tell is that most if not all the prosumer HD cameras that are out there were to big for just doing the "family thing". FX7 great price, really nice HD on my Fujitsu 55 Inch Plasma. The only problem so far is Now I Really Need To Know What I'm Doing.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #28
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Focus Harddrives

Sorry about the delay in responding to the request regarding the Focus FS-4 (was out of town a few days). I see someone posted a link so that should point people in the right direction - thanx. A couple of thoughts regarding the product. I primarily film wildlife and I really like the FS-4 (it's an external hard drive that connects to the camcorder by the Firewire port) because: 1) its tapeless so I'm not wasting tape waiting for the animal do do something exciting, 2) it has a pre-record cache so you can hit record a few seconds after the animal does something exciting and still get it, and 3) it works well for time lapse footage. However, a few caveats. The battery that ships with the products is very poor. The unit does make some noise so make sure its far from your microphone. Lastly, the 4-prong connection between the FX7 and the firewire cable is very loose and I've had it disconnect several times when I thought I was capturing footage. Lastly, the units were worth the money a few years ago but now with tapeless camcorders all over the place the Focus products are less compelling.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #29
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How's about white balance control in FX7

I'm using a VX2100 and going to get a FX7 soon. Would anyone who has experinces in FX7 tell me about white balance in that camcorder.I know that there is no manual WB control in FX7 so how can we get best color quality with auto and preset WB ?
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Old December 8th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #30
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I'm using a VX2100 and going to get a FX7 soon. Would anyone who has experinces in FX7 tell me about white balance in that camcorder.I know that there is no manual WB control in FX7 so how can we get best color quality with auto and preset WB ?
Having owned a 2100 and now a FX-7 i can tell you the white balances are similar,the FX-7 does have manual white balance as well as outdoor indoor and auto,i find auto gives the most acurate colour on mine maual and outdoor being a bit on the red side,you can set the color level and color phase to suite your liking as well as the sharpness.
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